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For I-9 and E-Verify Compliance, First Start with the Law and Regulations

Last month, I featured a List of Top Ten I-9 Audit and E-Verify Resources that have become indispensable resources for many organizations in the U.S. over the years. Some of our readers rightly pointed out that employers (and attorneys) should always start with the law and regulations as it relates to I-9 and E-Verify. I couldn’t agree more. In my excitement to put together a Top Ten List, it was easy to assume that the law would naturally be a starting point for most of our readers. Today’s blog, therefore, serves to emphasize this point. Fortunately, the relevant laws and regulations have been made available by various government agencies for public reference, so long as you know where to look. We’re making that easy for our readers today.

Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

The USCIS provides a brief overview of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), the statute that was passed to amend certain provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. This Act was, in essence, the birth of the Form I-9.  You can obtain the full text of the Act here.

Immigration Act of 1990

The Immigration and Nationality Act was amended in 1990 to include provisions prohibiting the practice of discriminatory employment practices. You can obtain the full text of the Act here.

Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996

The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRAIRA) amended the list of acceptable documentation for Form I-9 purposes and authorized creation of the Basic Pilot Program, which is what we now know as the federal E-Verify system. Read the full text of the Acthere.

Are you thoroughly overwhelmed yet? Wait, there’s more….

Title 8 Code of Federal Regulations

Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations governs how the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) reviews immigration processes. USCIS has conveniently listed the relevant code sections that are applicable to employment eligibility verification online.

Title 8 United States Code Section 1324b

The U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Office of Special Counsel provides a greatoverview on what types of immigration related unfair employment practices it investigates andprosecutes. OSC has the power to levy civil penalties on employers for violating provisions outlined in Section 1324b.

Federal Acquisition Regulations

June 2008 Executive Order 12989 mandated that all federal contractors enroll in E-Verify.  Amendments were made to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) as a result.

The above resources are just a sliver of the various laws related to I-9 and E-Verify for which I’ve provided very brief and non-exhaustive summaries. Of course, the list excludes the changing landscape of state legislation affecting U.S. states.  You can download our E-Verify State Legislation Map. One look at the list of laws and regulations quickly reveals why immigration law can be confusing. The laws interplay with one another and when amendments are made, individuals usually arrive at different interpretations. This is why it’s critical for organizations, particular large organizations, to partner with experienced immigration counsel to assist in navigating through the many quirks and complexities of the law. Want more updates? Please subscribe to our blog for free!


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